Most (Snr) Apostle Joshua Osasuyi (JP, MFR) is the Spiritual Leader/General Overseer, Christ’s Chosen Church of God with headquarters in Benin City, Edo State. In this interview by Gabriel Enogholase the man of God who is preparing to celebrate his 50th anniversary in the Lord’s Vineyard, he spoke on contemporary national issues.
On the state of insecurity in the country, he blamed the emergence of the Islamic Sect, Boko Haram on certain individuals who do not wish the country well, insisting that no religion preaches violence. He prophesied that Boko Haram would soon fade away in the history of the country.
While lamenting the poor handling of the Bakassi Peninsula issue by the Federal Government, he appealed to the government to immediately resettle the displaced people just as he described the suggestion that churches should pay tax to the government as satanic and from the pit of hell.
Nigeria has just celebrated its 52nd Independent Anniversary. What is your assessment of the journey so far?
I will say so far, so good. We have had our challenges associated with any developing society. The good news is that in spite of our differences, we are still a people united under one country and God.
One of the major problems facing the country currently is the state of insecurity caused by the activities of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram. What is your comment on this?
I have mentioned in several fora that Boko Haram is the creation of some persons who are ignorant and do not mean well for Nigeria. No religion preaches violence. Islam and Christianity are anchored on one great man, ‘Abraham’ or is it ‘Ibrahim’. If this is true, how can brothers and sisters be fighting and killing themselves? I prophesy that in no time, the name “Boko Haram” shall become history.
How do you see the killing of Christians in the North with Muslim leaders looking the other way?
I just gave you the answer: ignorance, lack of understanding and illiteracy. No educated youth would die for another without cogent reasons. If any leader pushes the child of another to die, death would await in a most tragic manner his own because it is what a man sows that he reaps.
What is your comment on the Federal government’s handling of the Bakassi Peninsula issue?
Nigeria had the opportunity to appeal against the judgment of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The government took things for granted. It is painful that we have lost part of our territory. For now, I can only advise the government to properly resettle our brothers and sisters displaced.
What is your view on the handling of the current flood disaster by NEMA, Federal Government and the affected states?
Well, no one thought it would take this dimension. I believe that all the organs of government have done their best. I believe they would not rest until succor is given to all the victims. I call on other well-meaning Nigerians to also assist our fellow brothers and sisters.
How do you think that future occurrences can be averted?
Dams should be constructed and the River Niger be dredged.
There is the call that churches should now pay tax to the government. What is your take on this?
The church is a charitable organisation made up of people who pay their taxes to government. Any such suggestion that the church should pay tax is satanic and from the pit of hell. It would also amount to double taxation. However, when churches have commercial outfits like schools, hospitals and printing press, then such outfits should pay levies not the church.
Recently, the Federal Government honoured you with a national award. What is your comment on this?
I feel great that the Federal Government recognised what we are doing here. We bless God for the honour bestowed on the church.
And also a Benin-based newspaper, Merit Media Ltd nominated you as man of God of the year 2012 representing South-South of Nigeria. What is your reaction?
Again, the reaction is the same. If I am nominated from among all the great men of God in the region, then we must appreciate Him for this honour which I believe is for my church and God.
By Januaryyear, you will be celebrating 50 years as a Minister of God. What is the journey so far?
We thank God for His grace. The journey has been very interesting filled with challenges, landmines, obstacles and problems. In all, God has been faithful making me an overcomer. To be in the ministry for half a century can only be possible by His Grace and mercies.
What is your comment on the involvement of churches in running educational institution?
Ordinarily, the churches ought to take charge of the running of educational institutions so as to properly mold our future leaders to respectable and God-fearing citizens. I think the church should be more involved.
What is your assessment of Governor Oshiomhole’s achievements in four years in office and your advice for his second term?
Simple, he has done his best as a human being and this was appreciated by the number of people who voted for him in the just concluded gubernatorial election. My advice to him is that on this second term, he should remain focussed and beware of sycophants, political jobbers who sing hallelujah today and crucify him tomorrow.
Messages to Nigerians as Christmas approach.
As Christmas is approaching, it is my prayer that all Nigerians would celebrate in peace. You must avoid rancor, ill-feeling and violence. Christ is the Prince of peace. Therefore, as we celebrate Christmas, we must all shield our swords and be our brothers’ keeper.